Health Supernova 2022 Health Supernova 2022
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Lightning Talk | Rewiring the Brain to Enhance Recovery

Room 101

Robert L Rennaker II
Xnerve Medical, CEO

Dr. Renanker is a Neural Engineer who has dedicated his life to developing solutions to empower individuals with neurological injuries to maximize recovery.

Dr. Rennaker’s team has raised over $48M in non-dilutive funding over the past 7 years to develop technologies and therapies to treat neurological injuries. The team has participated in 5 clinical trials over the past 7 years. The team has published over 150 peer-reviewed publications, using custom closed-loop preclinical rehabilitation systems developed by the team. The team has designed, developed, and currently manufactures a miniature, wireless class 3 implantable stimulator to enable the delivery of Targeted Plasticity Therapy. The team has also developed an array of technologies that can communicate with the implantable stimulator to deliver motor, sensory and cognitive rehabilitation.

Dr. Rennaker is a US Marine Veteran who served in Operation Sharp Edge, Desert Shield/Storm, and Provide Comfort from 1988-1993 and was awarded multiple accommodations for his service including the Navy Achievement Medal during Desert Storm. 

Dr. Rennaker served as the founding director of the Texas Biomedical Device Center from 2012 – 2019, and Department Chair for the Biomedical Engineering Department at UT Dallas from 2013-2019. Dr. Rennaker is currently serving as a Professor in Neuroscience at UT Dallas. 

Dr. Rennaker is currently the founding CEO of Xnerve Medical.

The human brain can generate incredibly complex and beautiful behaviors. These behaviors are driven by neural patterns that have been developing throughout our lifetimes. Yet, following neurological injuries, the neural circuits in our brain change. While some of these changes are helpful and account for functional recovery, maladaptive changes can result in spasticity, chronic pain, tinnitus, phantom limb pain, and other neurological conditions that negatively impact the quality of life.

Robert Rennaker will discuss the use of vagus nerve stimulation to enhance recovery of motor function following spinal cord injury and stroke and to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. His company, X-Nerve, is currently running three clinical trials with a wireless glass encapsulated, ultra-miniature, MRI compatible stimulator that never needs to be replaced.  The device is powered by a wearable that can be triggered via Bluetooth, allowing the rapid development of rehabilitation and treatment tools that can take advantage of Targeted Plasticity Therapy. Their goal? To ensure this therapy maximizes recovery, reduces the need for future surgery, and (most importantly) does not prevent the standard of care.